Make a Career Change Within Your Organization

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Make a Career Change Within Your Organization

Starting to look for a new job? Before you put your foot out of your organization’s door, consider your current employer in your search. Whether you are switching from IT to web development, from sales to mobile app design, or a myriad of other options, your best career move could be the office across the hall.

Context & Goals: When to Look for an Internal Position

When deciding whether or not to look for internal jobs, assess your organization's situation. Encouraging situations include:

  • You like your organization’s culture and environment, but your duties no longer match your skills and interest.

  • Your organization on a whole is stable and thriving, but you are not happy with your team or management conflicts with your prefered working style.

  • You’ve got a great reputation for meeting or exceeding performance expectations. You are seen as a valuable asset to the organization.

  • Your organization offers other positions that align with your values and career goals.

  • Your company has a history of hiring from within, uses an internal job board, and circulates new openings regularly.

Prepare & Pursue: How to Get an Internal Position

If you’ve decided to pursue a new role within your organization, your next step is to build opportunity and take action. Here are a few steps to prep for internal opportunity:

  1. Research: Investigate other departments. Learn about daily responsibilities, key players, and team culture.

  2. Get Familiar with the Internal Job Board: Research current opportunities and job requirements often by consulting the internal job boards. Don’t have an internal job board? Consult the external job board and use your coworkers as a resource for organization hiring needs.

    a. Create Your Own Job: Not finding your ideal position on a job board, but believe your organization would benefit from it? Consider pitching new responsibilities for your current role, or suggesting how your new skills would be an asset to the organization more formally. Examples include:

    Your small company is outsourcing their web development. Instead, you suggest that you could be the internal web developer - providing greater insight and efficiency.

    Your company is considering getting a mobile app. Based on your new skills and organization expertise, you suggest that you’d love the opportunity to make a strong product.

  3. Expand Your Internal Organizational Network: Schedule informational interviews with other departments and connect with people outside of your current team. By establishing good working relationships at all levels - especially those in lower positions within the company - you can gain positive support and even insights about job openings.

  4. Perfect Your Performance: Do your best in your current role, even if you are hoping to change it. A strong reputation will illustrates the value you can bring to a new position.

  5. Revamp Your Resume: Update your resume and reflect on the skills and accomplishments you’ve acquired since you started. You can add achievements, continuing education, as well as keywords that communicate your new career goals.

  6. Create a Learning Plan: Once you understand the desired skills within your organization, seek out any internal training or external training that boosts your skill set. Using the knowledge you are building at Udacity, look for work-projects that utilize your new skills, provide value to your organization, and showcase your learning initiative. If you work in a pro-learning environment, be open about your interests in working with this new area.

  7. Be Your Own Advocate: Finally, don’t forget to communicate your goals. Often, strong employees get overlooked by an organization simply because they don’t seek advancement. To be your own advocate, be aware of opportunity,  understand the requirements to achieve it, and  practice clearly communicating your professional learning goals. Be sure you can explain both why you want a career change and how it will benefit you and the company.

Conclusions

Your work at Udacity and your career search stands as evidence that you can and are ready to make change. This proves you are a change agent! With your new skills and knowledge in hand, you get to strategize how to best develop your career.

We hope the tips above not only help you to assess if your organization’s opportunity level, but also support you in being your own advocate.

Additional Resources

General:

Details on how to change your job with while staying with your current employer: http://www.careerealism.com/changing-jobs-current-employer/

Strategies on how to advance your career at your organization: http://money.howstuffworks.com/business/professional-development/how-to-advance-in-a-company2.htm

Advice on steps to change your career internally: http://managementhelp.org/blogs/career-management/2012/01/17/career-change-without-leaving-your-organization/

Tech-Specific:

Tips on how to advance your current career in technology: http://motivated.life/how-to-advance-your-career-in-tech/

Strategies to diversify your work experience within the IT field: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-ways-to-advance-your-it-career/